First Drive

Mahindra Bolero ZLX review, test drive

Our first impressions of the updated Mahindra Bolero with the new low-cost common-rail system

DETAILS
6
photos

There’s life in the Bolero yet. Mahindra has just upgraded India’s most popular MUV by giving it a low-cost common-rail system. There’s a minor facelift too, along with some interior updates.

The Bolero is powered by the same capacity 2523cc diesel engine as before. Only, now it comes with a common-rail motor to make it more efficient and to improve drivability. At 63bhp and 19.8kgm of torque, power output is the same as the old direct-injection engine, but there is a minor increase in peak torque. What you do get is peppy low-speed responses – the engine pulls cleanly from 1000rpm in third gear – and with surprising refinement. Yes, the diesel clatter is audible but it’s not like the old DI engine that would make your ears ring after a long journey.

Out on the highway, the engine runs out of steam pretty quickly, and it gets worse once loaded up with seven people. At just 100kph, you are getting close to the outer edges of the Bolero’s performance envelope, which means overtaking maneouvres need serious planning. Flat out, the Bolero hits 100kph in a yawning 25.61 seconds and, because of its limited power, takes ages to get to its 124kph top speed.

However, given its vintage, the Bolero’s road manners are much better than you would expect. The ride is quite level and absorbent over most surfaces, and only sharp bumps filtering through to the cabin. There’s not muchsteering feel though and the crisp handling typical of modern SUVs is just not there.

The redesigned dash looks like it’s been lifted straight out of Knight Rider. By modern car standards, the digital displays and voice messaging system are pretty cheesy, but we are sure it will have quite an effect in the rural areas, where the Bolero is popular. The digital gauges and trip computer do add some sophistication and the beige fabric brightens things
up a bit, but dashboard panel gaps and the general quality are well below par. The poor ergonomics, a time-honoured Bolero problem, persist. The front seats are flat, the steering is too big and too high and the pedals are painful to use after some time. It’s almost like Mahindra benchmarked tractors when finalising the driving position. Move over to the rear and you are greeted by cramped seats which don’t offer much legroom or good underthigh support.

The Bolero comes with a start-stop system which improves fuel effeciency. As a hardy and rugged vehicle for rural areas, the Bolero works well. As a personal car, it is too crude and too compromised. The ageing platform is not that good on safety either.  Priced at Rs 6.96 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Bolero in its ZLX avatar is not cheap. It feels dated and it would make more sense to shell out Rs 50k more and go for the Xylo or Scorpio instead. 

Fact File

Price Range (in lakhs)*

Ex-showroom price 6.96 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Engine

Fuel Diesel
Installation Front longitudinal, RWD
Type 2523cc
Power 2523cc
Torque 19.88kgm at 1400-2200rpm

Transmission

Gearbox 5-speed manual

Dimensions

Length 4107mm
Width 1745mm
Height 1880mm
Wheel base 2680mm
Ground clearance 180mm

Performance

0-20 1.60
0-40 4.34
0-60 8.67
0-80 14.97
0-100 25.61
0-120 52.56
See more about:  mahindra, bolero, xylo, xuv500, sumo, grande, sumo, gold, force, one, toyota, innova
comments powered by Disqus

notSet

An exclusive review of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC, drives of the Datsun Redigo and Honda BR-V and loads more. Dive in!
What's in this issue?

Trending Now
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

Audi A3 facelift review, test drive

Audi A3 facelift review, test drive

16 hours ago
The Audi A3 has just seen a facelift along with a whole host of updates. A...
Mercedes GLC India review, test drive

Mercedes GLC India review, test drive

1 day 23 hours ago
Mercedes finally plugs the only serious gap in its model range with the new...
Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2 track drive

Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2 track drive

3 days ago
Lamborghini maintains that AWD is the best way to make the most of a lot of...
Porsche 718 Boxster review, test drive

Porsche 718 Boxster review, test drive

3 days ago
Unlike most mid-life facelifts that are just cosmetic, the new Boxster comes...
Maruti Celerio diesel long term review, third report

Maruti Celerio diesel long term review, third report

May 20, 2016
The Celerio diesel has become our favourite option for frugal long-distance...
Latest News
IIT Bombay Racing team develops new all-electric race car
The Orca is IIT Bombay's fifth edition of an electric race car; designed to...
13 hours ago   2 pictures
MV Agusta and Motul lubricants sign agreement
Global partnership with MV Agusta includes use and supply of Motul Group...
15 hours ago   1 picture
All-new Nissan SUV spied
New Nissan SUV will take on the Fortuner and Pajero Sport; likely to be...
19 hours ago   4 pictures
Maruti Vitara Brezza commands seven-month waiting period
Increase in demand for Vitara Brezza jumps to 50 percent from March; Maruti...
19 hours ago   1 picture
Toyota Innova Crysta clocks 18,000 bookings since launch
Currently, there is a waiting period of up to four months on the Innova...
20 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 202 | Autocar India: June 2016

An exclusive review of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC, drives of the Datsun Redigo and Honda BR-V and loads more. Dive in!
Autocar Magazine
Latest Poll
Which compact SUV would you buy





or View results
Ford EcoSport
  29%
 
Maruti Vitara Brezza
  37%
 
Mahindra Nuvosport
  2%
 
Mahindra TUV300
  5%
 
Would rather wait for the Tata Nexon
  27%
TOTAL VOTES: 3675

Vote now
View previous Polls »